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Cognition
Journal Prestige (SJR): 2.455
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 169  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0010-0277
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3163 journals]
  • Inattentional numbness and the influence of task difficulty
    • Authors: Sandra Murphy; Polly Dalton
      Pages: 1 - 6
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Sandra Murphy, Polly Dalton
      Research suggests that clearly detectable stimuli can be missed when attention is focused elsewhere, particularly when the observer is engaged in a complex task. Although this phenomenon has been demonstrated in vision and audition, much less is known about the possibility of a similar phenomenon within touch. Across two experiments, we investigated reported awareness of an unexpected tactile event as a function of the difficulty of a concurrent tactile task. Participants were presented with sequences of tactile stimuli to one hand and performed either an easy or a difficult counting task. On the final trial, an additional tactile stimulus was concurrently presented to the unattended hand. Retrospective reports revealed that more participants in the difficult (vs. easy) condition remained unaware of this unexpected stimulus, even though it was clearly detectable under full attention conditions. These experiments are the first demonstrating the phenomenon of inattentional numbness modulated by concurrent tactile task difficulty.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.05.001
      Issue No: Vol. 178 (2018)
       
  • Move to learn: Integrating spatial information from multiple viewpoints
    • Authors: Corinne A. Holmes; Nora S. Newcombe; Thomas F. Shipley
      Pages: 7 - 25
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Corinne A. Holmes, Nora S. Newcombe, Thomas F. Shipley
      Recalling a spatial layout from multiple orientations – spatial flexibility – is challenging, even when the global configuration can be viewed from a single vantage point, but more so when it must be viewed piecemeal. In the current study, we examined whether experiencing the transition between multiple viewpoints enhances spatial memory and flexible recall for a spatial configuration viewed simultaneously (Exp. 1) and sequentially (Exp. 2), whether the type of transition matters, and whether action provides an additional advantage over passive experience. In Experiment 1, participants viewed an array of dollhouse furniture from four viewpoints, but with all furniture simultaneously visible. In Experiment 2, participants viewed the same array piecemeal, from four partitioned viewpoints that allowed for viewing only a segment at a time. The transition between viewpoints involved rotation of the array or participant movement around it. Rotation and participant movement were passively experienced or actively generated. The control condition presented the dollhouse as a series of static views. Across both experiments, participant movement significantly enhanced spatial memory relative to array rotation or static views. However, in Exp. 2, there was a further advantage for actively walking around the array compared to being passively pushed. These findings suggest that movement around a stable environment is key to spatial memory and flexible recall, with action providing an additional boost to the integration of temporally segmented spatial events. Thus, spatial memory may be more flexible than prior data indicate, when studied under more natural acquisition conditions.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.05.003
      Issue No: Vol. 178 (2018)
       
  • Mechanisms of value-learning in the guidance of spatial attention
    • Authors: Brian A. Anderson; Haena Kim
      Pages: 26 - 36
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Brian A. Anderson, Haena Kim
      The role of associative reward learning in the guidance of feature-based attention is well established. The extent to which reward learning can modulate spatial attention has been much more controversial. At least one demonstration of a persistent spatial attention bias following space-based associative reward learning has been reported. At the same time, multiple other experiments have been published failing to demonstrate enduring attentional biases towards locations at which a target, if found, yields high reward. This is in spite of evidence that participants use reward structures to inform their decisions where to search, leading some to suggest that, unlike feature-based attention, spatial attention may be impervious to the influence of learning from reward structures. Here, we demonstrate a robust bias towards regions of a scene that participants were previously rewarded for selecting. This spatial bias relies on representations that are anchored to the configuration of objects within a scene. The observed bias appears to be driven specifically by reinforcement learning, and can be observed with equal strength following non-reward corrective feedback. The time course of the bias is consistent with a transient shift of attention, rather than a strategic search pattern, and is evident in eye movement patterns during free viewing. Taken together, our findings reconcile previously conflicting reports and offer an integrative account of how learning from feedback shapes the spatial attention system.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.05.005
      Issue No: Vol. 178 (2018)
       
  • The language of smell: Connecting linguistic and psychophysical properties
           of odor descriptors
    • Authors: Georgios Iatropoulos; Pawel Herman; Anders Lansner; Jussi Karlgren; Maria Larsson; Jonas K. Olofsson
      Pages: 37 - 49
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Georgios Iatropoulos, Pawel Herman, Anders Lansner, Jussi Karlgren, Maria Larsson, Jonas K. Olofsson
      The olfactory sense is a particularly challenging domain for cognitive science investigations of perception, memory, and language. Although many studies show that odors often are difficult to describe verbally, little is known about the associations between olfactory percepts and the words that describe them. Quantitative models of how odor experiences are described in natural language are therefore needed to understand how odors are perceived and communicated. In this study, we develop a computational method to characterize the olfaction-related semantic content of words in a large text corpus of internet sites in English. We introduce two new metrics: olfactory association index (OAI, how strongly a word is associated with olfaction) and olfactory specificity index (OSI, how specific a word is in its description of odors). We validate the OAI and OSI metrics using psychophysical datasets by showing that terms with high OAI have high ratings of perceived olfactory association and are used to describe highly familiar odors. In contrast, terms with high OSI have high inter-individual consistency in how they are applied to odors. Finally, we analyze Dravnieks’s (1985) dataset of odor ratings in terms of OAI and OSI. This analysis reveals that terms that are used broadly (applied often but with moderate ratings) tend to be olfaction-unrelated and abstract (e.g., “heavy” or “light”; low OAI and low OSI) while descriptors that are used selectively (applied seldom but with high ratings) tend to be olfaction-related (e.g., “vanilla” or “licorice”; high OAI). Thus, OAI and OSI provide behaviorally meaningful information about olfactory language. These statistical tools are useful for future studies of olfactory perception and cognition, and might help integrate research on odor perception, neuroimaging, and corpus-based linguistic models of semantic organization.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.05.007
      Issue No: Vol. 178 (2018)
       
  • The prosodic domain of phonological encoding: Evidence from speech errors
    • Authors: Mary-Beth Beirne; Karen Croot
      Pages: 1 - 7
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Mary-Beth Beirne, Karen Croot
      Phonological encoding of segments is thought to occur within a prosodically-defined frame, but it is not clear which of the constituent/s within the prosodic hierarchy (syllables, phonological words, intonational phrases and utterances) serve/s as the domain of phonological encoding. This experiment investigated whether segmental speech errors elicited in tongue-twisters were influenced by position within prosodic constituents above the level of the phonological word. Forty-four participants produced six repetitions each of 40 two-intonational phrase tongue-twisters with error-prone word-initial “target” segments in phrase-initial and phrase-final words. If the domain of phonological encoding is the intonational phrase, we hypothesised that segments within a current intonational phrase would interact in more errors than would segments across intonational phrase boundaries. Participants made more anticipatory than perseveratory errors on target segments in phrase-initial words as predicted. They also made more perseveratory than anticipatory errors on targets in phrase-final words, but only in utterance-final phrases. These results suggest that the intonational phrase is one domain of phonological encoding, and that segments for upcoming phrases are activated while current phrases are being articulated.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.004
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Infants’ prosocial behavior is governed by cost-benefit analyses
    • Authors: Jessica A. Sommerville; Elizabeth A. Enright; Rachel O. Horton; Kelsey Lucca; Miranda J. Sitch; Susanne Kirchner-Adelhart
      Pages: 12 - 20
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Jessica A. Sommerville, Elizabeth A. Enright, Rachel O. Horton, Kelsey Lucca, Miranda J. Sitch, Susanne Kirchner-Adelhart
      Cost-benefit analyses are central to mature decision-making and behavior across a range of contexts. Given debates regarding the nature of infants’ prosociality, we investigated whether 18-month-old infants’ (N = 160) prosocial behavior is impacted by anticipated costs and benefits. Infants participated in a helping task in which they could carry either a heavy or light block across a room to help an experimenter. Infants’ helping behavior was attenuated when the anticipated physical costs were high versus low (Experiment 1), and high-cost helping was enhanced under conditions of increased intrinsic motivational benefits (Experiments 2 and 3). High-cost helping was further predicted by infants’ months of walking experience, presumably because carrying a heavy block across a room is more effortful for less experienced walkers than for more experienced walkers demonstrating that infants subjectively calibrate costs. Thus, infants’ prosocial responding may be guided by a rational decision-making process that weighs and integrates costs and benefits.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.021
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Cognitive flexibility and memory in pigeons, human children, and adults
    • Authors: Kevin P. Darby; Leyre Castro; Edward A. Wasserman; Vladimir M. Sloutsky
      Pages: 30 - 40
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Kevin P. Darby, Leyre Castro, Edward A. Wasserman, Vladimir M. Sloutsky
      This work examines cognitive flexibility using a comparative approach. Pigeons (Experiment 1), human children (Experiment 2a), and human adults (Experiment 2b) performed a task that required changing responses to the same stimuli twice across the experiment. The results indicate that all three groups demonstrated robust memory for learned information. In addition, pigeons showed comparable and substantial perseveration following both response shifts. In contrast, both children and adults exhibited some perseveration following a first response shift, while exhibiting no cost following the second response shift. These findings are discussed in relation to memory-based theories of cognitive flexibility, according to which perseveration occurs as a result of competition between long-term and working memory, revealing important differences in memory and cognitive flexibility between species.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.015
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • The social-cognitive basis of infants’ reference to absent entities
    • Authors: Manuel Bohn; Luise Zimmermann; Josep Call; Michael Tomasello
      Pages: 41 - 48
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Manuel Bohn, Luise Zimmermann, Josep Call, Michael Tomasello
      Recent evidence suggests that infants as young as 12 month of age use pointing to communicate about absent entities. The tacit assumption underlying these studies is that infants do so based on tracking what their interlocutor experienced in a previous shared interaction. The present study addresses this assumption empirically. In three experiments, 12-month-old infants could request additional desired objects by pointing to the location in which these objects were previously located. We systematically varied whether the adult from whom infants were requesting had previously experienced the former content of the location with the infant. Infants systematically adjusted their pointing to the now empty location to what they experienced with the adult previously. These results suggest that infants’ ability to communicate about absent referents is based on an incipient form of common ground.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.024
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Infants learn a rule predicated on the relation same but fail to
           simultaneously learn a rule predicated on the relation different
    • Authors: Jean-Rémy Hochmann; Susan Carey; Jacques Mehler
      Pages: 49 - 57
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Jean-Rémy Hochmann, Susan Carey, Jacques Mehler
      In two experiments, we assessed whether infants are able to learn rules predicated on two abstract relations linked by negation: same and different (not same). In an anticipatory looking paradigm, the relation between successive colored geometrical shapes predicted the location where a puppet would appear next. In Experiment 1, 7-month-olds learned and generalized a rule predicated on the relation same, but not a rule predicated on the relation different. Similarly, in Experiment 2, 12-month-olds learned a rule predicated on the relation same-shape, but not a rule predicated on the relation different-shape. Comparing our data with that from previous experiments in the speech domain, we found no effect of age, modality or rule complexity. We conclude that, in the first year of life, infants already possess a representation of the abstract relation same, which serves as input to a rule. In contrast, we find no evidence that they represent the relation different.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.005
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • When some triggers a scalar inference out of the blue. An
           electrophysiological study of a Stroop-like conflict elicited by single
           words
    • Authors: Cécile Barbet; Guillaume Thierry
      Pages: 58 - 68
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Cécile Barbet, Guillaume Thierry
      Some studies in experimental pragmatics have concluded that scalar inferences (e.g., ‘some X are Y’ implicates ‘not all X are Y’) are context-dependent pragmatic computations delayed relative to semantic computations. However, it remains unclear whether strong contextual support is necessary to trigger such inferences. Here we tested if the scalar inference ‘not all’ triggered by some can be evoked in a maximally neutral context. We investigated event-related potential (ERP) amplitude modulations elicited by Stroop-like conflicts in participants instructed to indicate whether strings of letters were printed with all their letters in upper case or otherwise. In a randomized stream of non-words and distractor words, the words all, some and case were either presented in capitals or they featured at least one lower case letter. As expected, we found a significant conflict-related N450 modulation when comparing e.g., ‘aLl’ with ‘ALL’. Surprisingly, despite the fact that most responses from the same participants in a sentence-picture verification task were literal, we also found a similar modulation when comparing ‘SOME’ with e.g., ‘SoMe’, even though SOME could only elicit such a Stroop conflict when construed pragmatically. No such modulation was found for e.g., ‘CasE’ vs. ‘CASE’ (neutral contrast). These results suggest that some can appear incongruent with the concept of ‘all’ even when contextual support is minimal. Furthermore, there was no significant correlation between N450 effect magnitude (‘SOME’ minus e.g., ‘sOMe’) and pragmatic response rate recorded in the sentence-picture verification task. Overall, this study shows for the first time that the pragmatic meaning of some can be accessed in a maximally neutral context, and thus, that the scalar inference ‘not all’ triggered by some should be construed as context-sensitive rather than context-dependent, that is, more or less salient and relevant depending on the context rather than entirely contingent upon it.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.013
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Growth of symbolic number knowledge accelerates after children understand
           cardinality
    • Authors: David C. Geary; Kristy vanMarle
      Pages: 69 - 78
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): David C. Geary, Kristy vanMarle
      Children who achieve an early understanding of the cardinal value of number words (cardinal knowledge) have a superior understanding of the relations among numerals at school entry, controlling other factors (e.g., intelligence). We tested the hypothesis that this pattern emerges because an understanding of cardinal value jump starts children’s learning of the relations among numerals. Across two years of preschool, the cardinal knowledge of 179 children (85 boys) was assessed four times, as was their understanding of the relative quantity of Arabic numerals and competence at discriminating nonsymbolic quantities. Children were more accurate on nonsymbolic than numeral comparisons before they understood cardinality, but showed more rapid growth for numeral than nonsymbolic comparisons once they understood cardinality. Moreover, and with the possible exception of very small numerals (<5), before they understood cardinality children were no better than chance in their numeral comparisons, but greatly exceeded chance once they understood cardinality. These patterns were independent of the age at which children became cardinal principle knowers and independent of intelligence, executive function, and preliteracy skills. More broadly, the results provide a developmental bridge between cardinal knowledge and school-entry number knowledge.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.002
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Interoceptive influences on peripersonal space boundary
    • Authors: Martina Ardizzi; Francesca Ferri
      Pages: 79 - 86
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Martina Ardizzi, Francesca Ferri
      Integration of body-related signals within the peripersonal space (PPS) contributes to bodily self-awareness. Whereas several studies have shown how individual PPS extension is shaped by external factors, e.g. during interactions with people and objects, no studies have looked at interoceptive influences on PPS extension. We exposed participants to an audio-tactile interaction task, to measure their PPS boundary (Session 1), and to a heartbeat counting task and a time estimation task, to specifically assess their interoceptive accuracy (Session 2). Participants’ traits of private self-consciousness and social anxiety were also evaluated, to account for their possible effect on the relation between interoception and PPS representation. We found that higher interoceptive accuracy specifically predicts narrower PPS boundary. Moreover, this relation is moderated by individual traits of private self-consciousness, but not social anxiety. Extending the concept of interoceptive influences on exteroceptive body representations to PPS, our results, first, support the idea that a dynamic balance between intero-exteroceptive processing might represent a general principle underlying bodily self-awareness; second, they shed light on how interoception may affect also the way we interface with the external world. Finally, showing that, in order for interoceptive accuracy to be effective on the intero-exteroceptive balance, it is important that individuals tend to focus on inner sensations and feelings, our results suggest that a comprehensive intero-exteroceptive model of bodily self-awareness should be (at least) a three-dimensional model that includes individual self-consciousness traits.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.001
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • And then I saw her race: Race-based expectations affect infants’
           word processing
    • Authors: Drew Weatherhead; Katherine S. White
      Pages: 87 - 97
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Drew Weatherhead, Katherine S. White
      How do our expectations about speakers shape speech perception' Adults’ speech perception is influenced by social properties of the speaker (e.g., race). When in development do these influences begin' In the current study, 16-month-olds heard familiar words produced in their native accent (e.g., “dog”) and in an unfamiliar accent involving a vowel shift (e.g., “dag”), in the context of an image of either a same-race speaker or an other-race speaker. Infants’ interpretation of the words depended on the speaker’s race. For the same-race speaker, infants only recognized words produced in the familiar accent; for the other-race speaker, infants recognized both versions of the words. Two additional experiments showed that infants only recognized an other-race speaker’s atypical pronunciations when they differed systematically from the native accent. These results provide the first evidence that expectations driven by unspoken properties of speakers, such as race, influence infants’ speech processing.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.004
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Confidence judgments during ratio comparisons reveal a Bayesian bias
    • Authors: Santiago Alonso-Diaz; Jessica F. Cantlon
      Pages: 98 - 106
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Santiago Alonso-Diaz, Jessica F. Cantlon
      Rational numbers are essential in mathematics and decision-making but humans often and erroneously rely on the magnitude of the numerator or denominator to determine the relative size of a quotient. The source of this flawed whole number strategy is poorly understood. Here we test the Bayesian hypothesis that the human bias toward large values in the numerator or denominator of a ratio estimate is the result of higher confidence in large samples. Larger values are considered a better (more certain) instance of that ratio than the same ratio composed of smaller values. We collected confidence measures explicitly (Experiment 1) and implicitly (Experiment 2) during subjects’ comparisons of non-symbolic proportions (images with arrays of orange and blue dots). We manipulated the discernibility of the fractions to control difficulty and varied the cardinality and congruency of the numerators, denominators, and ratio values (e.g. 8/20 vs. 5/10 and 16/40 vs. 10/20). The results revealed that subjects’ confidence during ratio comparisons was modulated by the numerical magnitude of the fraction‘s components, consistent with a Bayesian perception of relative ratios. The results suggest that the large number bias could arise from greater confidence in large samples.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.006
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Exploring the functional nature of synaesthetic colour: Dissociations from
           colour perception and imagery
    • Authors: Rocco Chiou; Anina N. Rich; Sebastian Rogers; Joel Pearson
      Pages: 107 - 121
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Rocco Chiou, Anina N. Rich, Sebastian Rogers, Joel Pearson
      Individuals with grapheme-colour synaesthesia experience anomalous colours when reading achromatic text. These unusual experiences have been said to resemble ‘normal’ colour perception or colour imagery, but studying the nature of synaesthesia remains difficult. In the present study, we report novel evidence that synaesthetic colour impacts conscious vision in a way that is different from both colour perception and imagery. Presenting ‘normal’ colour prior to binocular rivalry induces a location-dependent suppressive bias reflecting local habituation. By contrast, a grapheme that evokes synaesthetic colour induces a facilitatory bias reflecting priming that is not constrained to the inducing grapheme’s location. This priming does not occur in non-synaesthetes and does not result from response bias. It is sensitive to diversion of visual attention away from the grapheme, but resistant to sensory perturbation, reflecting a reliance on cognitive rather than sensory mechanisms. Whereas colour imagery in non-synaesthetes causes local priming that relies on the locus of imagined colour, imagery in synaesthetes caused global priming not dependent on the locus of imagery. These data suggest a unique psychophysical profile of high-level colour processing in synaesthetes. Our novel findings and method will be critical to testing theories of synaesthesia and visual awareness.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T23:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.022
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Lucky or clever' From expectations to responsibility judgments
    • Authors: Tobias Gerstenberg; Tomer D. Ullman; Jonas Nagel; Max Kleiman-Weiner; David A. Lagnado; Joshua B. Tenenbaum
      Pages: 122 - 141
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Tobias Gerstenberg, Tomer D. Ullman, Jonas Nagel, Max Kleiman-Weiner, David A. Lagnado, Joshua B. Tenenbaum
      How do people hold others responsible for the consequences of their actions' We propose a computational model that attributes responsibility as a function of what the observed action reveals about the person, and the causal role that the person’s action played in bringing about the outcome. The model first infers what type of person someone is from having observed their action. It then compares a prior expectation of how a person would behave with a posterior expectation after having observed the person’s action. The model predicts that a person is blamed for negative outcomes to the extent that the posterior expectation is lower than the prior, and credited for positive outcomes if the posterior is greater than the prior. We model the causal role of a person’s action by using a counterfactual model that considers how close the action was to having been pivotal for the outcome. The model captures participants’ responsibility judgments to a high degree of quantitative accuracy across three experiments that cover a range of different situations. It also solves an existing puzzle in the literature on the relationship between action expectations and responsibility judgments. Whether an unexpected action yields more or less credit depends on whether the action was diagnostic for good or bad future performance.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.019
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • The development of territory-based inferences of ownership
    • Authors: Brandon W. Goulding; Ori Friedman
      Pages: 142 - 149
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Brandon W. Goulding, Ori Friedman
      Legal systems often rule that people own objects in their territory. We propose that an early-developing ability to make territory-based inferences of ownership helps children address informational demands presented by ownership. Across 6 experiments (N = 504), we show that these inferences develop between ages 3 and 5 and stem from two aspects of the psychology of ownership. First, we find that a basic ability to infer that people own objects in their territory is already present at age 3 (Experiment 1). Children even make these inferences when the territory owner unintentionally acquired the objects and was unaware of them (Experiments 2 and 3). Second, we find that between ages 3 and 5, children come to consider past events in these judgments. They move from solely considering the current location of an object in territory-based inferences, to also considering and possibly inferring where it originated (Experiments 4 to 6). Together, these findings suggest that territory-based inferences of ownership are unlikely to be constructions of the law. Instead, they may reflect basic intuitions about ownership that operate from early in development.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.013
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • The influence of religious concepts on the effects of blame appraisals on
           negative emotions
    • Authors: Eddie M.W. Tong; Alan Q.H. Teo
      Pages: 150 - 164
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Eddie M.W. Tong, Alan Q.H. Teo
      This research examined the regulatory effects of religious concepts on appraisal-emotion processes, focusing on concepts related to God and the relationships between blame appraisals and anger and guilt. In two experimental studies (Studies 1 and 2), blame appraisals were manipulated while participants were exposed to a God or neutral prime, in the context of a failed laboratory task. In an event-sampling study (Study 3), daily blame appraisals and emotions were measured repeatedly in naturalistic environments and their relationships under high perceived moral unacceptability were examined in relation to participants’ the tendency to focus on God (God-focus). All three studies consistently found evidence that higher activation of God concepts was associated with a weaker relationship between other-blame and anger. In contrast, God concepts did not moderate the relationship between blame and guilt. The results also indicate that both self- and other-blame can contribute to guilt, and God concepts exert no consistent effects on the blame appraisals. These findings support the God-prosociality link, imply that supernatural monitoring effects influence anger but not guilt, and suggest that thoughts of God can lower anger but do not mitigate nor magnify guilt.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.012
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • The norm of assertion: Empirical data
    • Authors: Markus Kneer
      Pages: 165 - 171
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Markus Kneer
      Assertions are speech acts by means of which we express beliefs. As such they are at the heart of our linguistic and social practices. Recent research has focused extensively on the question whether the speech act of assertion is governed by norms, and if so, under what conditions it is acceptable to make an assertion. Standard theories propose, for instance, that one should only assert that p if one knows that p (the knowledge account), or that one should only assert that p if p is true (the truth account). In a series of four experiments, this question is addressed empirically. Contrary to previous findings, knowledge turns out to be a poor predictor of assertability, and the norm of assertion is not factive either. The studies here presented provide empirical evidence in favour of the view that a speaker is warranted to assert that p only if her belief that p is justified.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.020
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Fast mapping word meanings across trials: Young children forget all but
           their first guess
    • Authors: Athulya Aravind; Jill de Villiers; Amy Pace; Hannah Valentine; Roberta Golinkoff; Kathy Hirsh-Pasek; Aquiles Iglesias; Mary Sweig Wilson
      Pages: 177 - 188
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Athulya Aravind, Jill de Villiers, Amy Pace, Hannah Valentine, Roberta Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Aquiles Iglesias, Mary Sweig Wilson
      Do children learn a new word by tracking co-occurrences between words and referents across multiple instances (“cross-situational learning” models), or is word-learning a “one-track” process, where learners maintain a single hypothesis about the possible referent, which may be verified or falsified in future occurrences (“propose-but-verify” models)' Using a novel word-learning task, we ask which learning procedure is utilized by preschool-aged children. We report on findings from three studies comparing the word-learning strategies across different populations of child learners: monolingual English learners, Spanish - English dual language learners, and learners at risk for language-delay. In all three studies, we ask what, if anything, is retained from prior exposures and whether the amount of information retained changes as children get older. The ability to make a good initial hypothesis was a function of various factors, including language ability and experience, but across-the-board, children were no better than chance after a wrong initial hypothesis. This suggests that children do not retain multiple meaning hypotheses across learning instances, lending support to the propose-but-verify models.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.008
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Linguistic entrenchment: Prior knowledge impacts statistical learning
           performance
    • Authors: Noam Siegelman; Louisa Bogaerts; Amit Elazar; Joanne Arciuli; Ram Frost
      Pages: 198 - 213
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Noam Siegelman, Louisa Bogaerts, Amit Elazar, Joanne Arciuli, Ram Frost
      Statistical Learning (SL) is typically considered to be a domain-general mechanism by which cognitive systems discover the underlying statistical regularities in the input. Recent findings, however, show clear differences in processing regularities across modalities and stimuli as well as low correlations between performance on visual and auditory tasks. Why does a presumably domain-general mechanism show distinct patterns of modality and stimulus specificity' Here we claim that the key to this puzzle lies in the prior knowledge brought upon by learners to the learning task. Specifically, we argue that learners’ already entrenched expectations about speech co-occurrences from their native language impacts what they learn from novel auditory verbal input. In contrast, learners are free of such entrenchment when processing sequences of visual material such as abstract shapes. We present evidence from three experiments supporting this hypothesis by showing that auditory-verbal tasks display distinct item-specific effects resulting in low correlations between test items. In contrast, non-verbal tasks – visual and auditory – show high correlations between items. Importantly, we also show that individual performance in visual and auditory SL tasks that do not implicate prior knowledge regarding co-occurrence of elements, is highly correlated. In a fourth experiment, we present further support for the entrenchment hypothesis by showing that the variance in performance between different stimuli in auditory-verbal statistical learning tasks can be traced back to their resemblance to participants' native language. We discuss the methodological and theoretical implications of these findings, focusing on models of domain generality/specificity of SL.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.011
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Episodic traces and statistical regularities: Paired associate learning in
           typical and dyslexic readers
    • Authors: Manon Wyn Jones; Jan-Rouke Kuipers; Sinead Nugent; Angelina Miley; Gary Oppenheim
      Pages: 214 - 225
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Manon Wyn Jones, Jan-Rouke Kuipers, Sinead Nugent, Angelina Miley, Gary Oppenheim
      Learning visual-phonological associations is a key skill underlying successful reading acquisition. However, we are yet to understand the cognitive mechanisms that enable efficient learning in good readers, and those which are aberrant in individuals with developmental dyslexia. Here, we use a repeated cued-recall task to examine how typical and reading-impaired adults acquire novel associations between visual and phonological stimuli, incorporating a looking-at-nothing paradigm to probe implicit memory for target locations. Cued recall accuracy revealed that typical readers’ recall of novel phonological associates was better than dyslexic readers’ recall, and it also improved more with repetition. Eye fixation-contingent error analyses suggest that typical readers’ greater improvement from repetition reflects their more robust encoding and/or retrieval of each instance in which a given pair was presented: whereas dyslexic readers tended to recall a phonological target better when fixating its most recent location, typical readers showed this pattern more strongly when the target location was consistent across multiple trials. Thus, typical readers’ greater success in reading acquisition may derive from their better use of statistical contingencies to identify consistent stimulus features across multiple exposures. We discuss these findings in relation to the role of implicit memory in forming new visual-phonological associations as a foundational skill in reading, and areas of weakness in developmental dyslexia.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.010
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • Pointing perception is precise
    • Authors: S.M. Cooney; N. Brady; A. McKinney
      Pages: 226 - 233
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): S.M. Cooney, N. Brady, A. McKinney
      The spontaneity and ease with which we point understates the gesture’s significance to understanding cognition. Onset of pointing in infancy predicts early word acquisition and signals a capacity for shared intentionality. Yet, notwithstanding its importance, there is little research on the perception of pointing and its referents. Here we show that perceptual acuity for discerning where another person is pointing is remarkably accurate. Thresholds, as low as 0.5° of visual angle across an interpersonal distance of ∼2 m, are modulated by the referent’s location in space and the hand used to point and remain constant when the pointer’s eyes are occluded from view and when ‘embodiment’ cues are enhanced or minimized. Pointing with the index finger not only directs attention toward a general region of space but the morphology of arm, hand and finger can be used to discern the location of the pointer’s attention with precision.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.021
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • What’s fair' How children assign reward to members of teams with
           differing causal structures
    • Authors: Karla Koskuba; Tobias Gerstenberg; Hannah Gordon; David Lagnado; Anne Schlottmann
      Pages: 234 - 248
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Karla Koskuba, Tobias Gerstenberg, Hannah Gordon, David Lagnado, Anne Schlottmann
      How do children reward individual members of a team that has just won or lost a game' We know that from pre-school age, children consider agents’ performance when allocating reward. Here we assess whether children can go further and appreciate performance in context: The same pattern of performance can contribute to a team outcome in different ways, depending on the underlying rule framework. Two experiments, with three age groups (4/5-year-olds, 6/7-year-olds, and adults), varied performance of team members, with the same performance patterns considered under three different game rules for winning or losing. These three rules created distinct underlying causal structures (additive, conjunctive, disjunctive), for how individual performance affected the overall team outcome. Even the youngest children differentiated between different game rules in their reward allocations. Rather than only rewarding individual performance, or whether the team won/lost, children were sensitive to the team structure and how players’ performance contributed to the win/loss under each of the three game rules. Not only do young children consider it fair to allocate resources based on merit, but they are also sensitive to the causal structure of the situation which dictates how individual contributions combine to determine the team outcome.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.016
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • The role of perspective in event segmentation
    • Authors: Khena M. Swallow; Jovan T. Kemp; Ayse Candan Simsek
      Pages: 249 - 262
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Khena M. Swallow, Jovan T. Kemp, Ayse Candan Simsek
      People divide their ongoing experience into meaningful events. This process, event segmentation, is strongly associated with visual input: when visual features change, people are more likely to segment. However, the nature of this relationship is unclear. Segmentation could be bound to specific visual features, such as actor posture. Or, it could be based on changes in the activity that are correlated with visual features. This study distinguished between these two possibilities by examining whether segmentation varies across first- and third-person perspectives. In two experiments, observers identified meaningful events in videos of actors performing everyday activities, such as eating breakfast or doing laundry. Each activity was simultaneously recorded from a first-person perspective and a third-person perspective. These videos presented identical activities but differed in their visual features. If segmentation is tightly bound to visual features then observers should identify different events in first- and third-person videos. In addition, the relationship between segmentation and visual features should remain unchanged. Neither prediction was supported. Though participants sometimes identified more events in first-person videos, the events they identified were mostly indistinguishable from those identified for third-person videos. In addition, the relationship between the video’s visual features and segmentation changed across perspectives, further demonstrating a partial dissociation between segmentation and visual input. Event segmentation appears to be robust to large variations in sensory information as long as the content remains the same. Segmentation mechanisms appear to flexibly use sensory information to identify the structure of the underlying activity.

      PubDate: 2018-05-16T21:55:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.04.019
      Issue No: Vol. 177 (2018)
       
  • The influence of articulation dynamics on recognition memory
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 179
      Author(s): Berit Lindau, Sascha Topolinski
      Previous research has demonstrated an effect of consonantal direction on preference, showing that words following inward articulation dynamics (e.g., EMOK or OPIK) are generally liked more than words following outward dynamics (e.g., EKOM or OKIP). The present studies extended this line of research by hypothesizing an effect of consonantal direction on recognition memory, specifically familiarity. In a total of 7 experimental studies (N = 1043), we tested and confirmed this hypothesis, consistently finding increased hits and false alarms for inward compared to outward pseudo-words. This difference was found to be based on a higher perceived familiarity for inward compared to outward pseudo-words. Alternative explanations of an affirmation tendency or a recollection advantage were ruled out in Experiments 4 and 5. Experiments 6a and 6b examined the role of articulation fluency and liking as potential mediators of the effect, but found that neither mediated the influence of consonantal direction on familiarity. Thus, the in-out familiarity effect documented here seems to be a phenomenon that is distinct from the previously described in-out preference effect.

      PubDate: 2018-06-18T09:44:07Z
       
  • Basic functional trade-offs in cognition: An integrative framework
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 179
      Author(s): Marco Del Giudice, Bernard J. Crespi
      Trade-offs between advantageous but conflicting properties (e.g., speed vs. accuracy) are ubiquitous in cognition, but the relevant literature is conceptually fragmented, scattered across disciplines, and has not been organized in a coherent framework. This paper takes an initial step toward a general theory of cognitive trade-offs by examining four key properties of goal-directed systems: performance, efficiency, robustness, and flexibility. These properties define a number of basic functional trade-offs that can be used to map the abstract “design space” of natural and artificial cognitive systems. Basic functional trade-offs provide a shared vocabulary to describe a variety of specific trade-offs including speed vs. accuracy, generalist vs. specialist, exploration vs. exploitation, and many others. By linking specific features of cognitive functioning to general properties such as robustness and efficiency, it becomes possible to harness some powerful insights from systems engineering and systems biology to suggest useful generalizations, point to under-explored but potentially important trade-offs, and prompt novel hypotheses and connections between disparate areas of research.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-06-18T09:44:07Z
       
  • Naturalistic multiattribute choice
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 179
      Author(s): Sudeep Bhatia, Neil Stewart
      We study how people evaluate and aggregate the attributes of naturalistic choice objects, such as movies and food items. Our approach applies theories of object representation in semantic memory research to large-scale crowd-sourced data, to recover multiattribute representations for common choice objects. We then use standard choice experiments to test the predictive power of various decision rules for weighting and aggregating these multiattribute representations. Our experiments yield three novel conclusions: 1. Existing multiattribute decision rules, applied to object representations trained on crowd-sourced data, predict participant choice behavior with a high degree of accuracy; 2. Contrary to prior work on multiattribute choice, weighted additive decision rules outperform heuristic rules in out-of-sample predictions; and 3. The best performing decision rules utilize rich object representations with a large number of underlying attributes. Our results have important implications for the study of multiattribute choice.

      PubDate: 2018-06-18T09:44:07Z
       
  • Attenuation of visual evoked responses to hand and saccade-initiated
           flashes
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 179
      Author(s): Nathan G. Mifsud, Tom Beesley, Tamara L. Watson, Ruth B. Elijah, Tegan S. Sharp, Thomas J. Whitford
      Sensory attenuation refers to reduced brain responses to self-initiated sensations relative to those produced by the external world. It is a low-level process that may be linked to higher-level cognitive tasks such as reality monitoring. The phenomenon is often explained by prediction error mechanisms of universal applicability to sensory modality; however, it is most widely reported for auditory stimuli resulting from self-initiated hand movements. The present series of event-related potential (ERP) experiments explored the generalizability of sensory attenuation to the visual domain by exposing participants to flashes initiated by either their own button press or volitional saccade and comparing these conditions to identical, computer-initiated stimuli. The key results showed that the largest reduction of anterior visual N1 amplitude occurred for saccade-initiated flashes, while button press-initiated flashes evoked an intermediary response between the saccade-initiated and externally initiated conditions. This indicates that sensory attenuation occurs for visual stimuli and suggests that the degree of electrophysiological attenuation may relate to the causal likelihood of pairings between the type of motor action and the modality of its sensory response.

      PubDate: 2018-06-12T07:53:35Z
       
  • Nonword repetition depends on the frequency of sublexical representations
           at different grain sizes: Evidence from a multi-factorial analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 179
      Author(s): Jakub M. Szewczyk, Marta Marecka, Shula Chiat, Zofia Wodniecka
      The nonword repetition task (NWR) has been widely used in basic cognitive and clinical research, as well as in clinical assessment, and has been proposed as a clinical marker for Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Yet the mechanisms underlying performance on this task are not clear. This study offers insights into these mechanisms through a comprehensive examination of item-related variables identified in previous research as possibly contributing to NWR scores and through testing the predictive power of each in relation to the others. A unique feature of the study is that all factors are considered simultaneously. Fifty-seven typically developing children were tested with a NWR task containing 150 nonwords differing in length, phonotactic probability, lexical neighbourhood and phonological complexity. The results indicate that phonological processing of novel words draws on sublexical representations at all grain sizes and that these representations are phonological, unstructured and insensitive to morphemehood. We propose a novel index – mean ngram frequency of all phonemes – that best captures the extent to which a nonword draws on sublexical representations. The study demonstrates the primacy of sublexical representations in NWR performance with implications for the nature of the deficit in SLI.

      PubDate: 2018-06-12T07:53:35Z
       
  • The grasping side of post-error slowing
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 179
      Author(s): Francesco Ceccarini, Umberto Castiello
      A common finding across many speeded reaction time (RT) tasks is that people tend to respond more slowly after making an error. This phenomenon, known as post-error slowing (PES), has been traditionally hypothesized to reflect a strategic increase in response caution, aimed at preventing the occurrence of new errors. However, this interpretation of PES has been challenged on multiple fronts. Firstly, recent investigations have suggested that errors may produce a decrement in performance accuracy and that PES might occur because error processing has a detrimental effect on subsequent information processing. Secondly, previous research has been criticized because of the limited ecological validity of speeded RT tasks. In the present study, we investigated error-reactivity in the context of goal-directed actions, in order to examine the extent to which PES effects impact on realistic and complex movements. Specifically, we investigated the effect of errors on the reach to grasp movement (Experiment 1). In addition to RTs, we performed a kinematical analysis in order to explore the underlying reorganization of the movements after an error. The results of the present study showed that error reactivity strategically influences the grasping component of the action, whereas the reaching component appears to be impermeable to PES. The resistance of the reaching component to PES was confirmed in a second ‘only reaching’ experiment (Experiment 2). These finding supports the hypothesis that error reactivity is a flexible process whose effects on behavior also depend on the motor components involved in the action.

      PubDate: 2018-06-09T07:47:52Z
       
  • Grammatical licensing and relative clause parsing in a flexible word-order
           language
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Matthew W. Wagers, Manuel F. Borja, Sandra Chung
      Evidence from two experiments reveals that in Chamorro, a verb-first language, the comprehension of relative clauses (RCs) is sensitive to the order of the RC with respect to the head. Unlike most other languages, Chamorro allows both postnominal and prenominal RCs, so it is possible to compare how the two types are processed within the same language. Moreover, Chamorro is a small language whose speakers do not fit the typical profile of participants in cognitive science experiments. We found that RC comprehension is affected by the relative order of RC and head, and by other language-specific factors. However, we also found new support for a subject gap advantage in all RC types. This advantage emerged in early response measures and was reinforced in postnominal RCs, but often outcompeted in prenominal RCs by other pressures. We frame this competition in terms of a model in which grammatical licensing requirements play a key role in comprehension.

      PubDate: 2018-06-09T07:47:52Z
       
  • Experience, aptitude and individual differences in native language
           ultimate attainment
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Ewa Dąbrowska
      Several recent studies have demonstrated that some native speakers do not fully master some fairly basic grammatical constructions of their language, thus challenging the widely-held assumption that all native speakers converge on the same grammar. This study investigates the extent of individual differences in adult native speakers' knowledge of a range of constructions as well as vocabulary size and collocational knowledge, and explores the relationship between these three aspects of linguistic knowledge and four nonlinguistic predictors: nonverbal IQ, language aptitude, print exposure and education. Individual differences in grammatical attainment were comparable to those observed for vocabulary and collocations; furthermore, performance on tests assessing speakers' knowledge of these three aspects of language was correlated (rs from 0.38 to 0.57). Two of the nonlinguistic measures, print exposure and education, were found to contribute to variance in all three language tests, albeit to different extents. In addition, nonverbal IQ was found to be relevant for grammar and vocabulary, and language aptitude for grammar. These findings are broadly compatible with usage-based models of language and problematic for modular theories.

      PubDate: 2018-06-09T07:47:52Z
       
  • A mechanism for spatial perception on human skin
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Francesca Fardo, Brianna Beck, Tony Cheng, Patrick Haggard
      Our perception of where touch occurs on our skin shapes our interactions with the world. Most accounts of cutaneous localisation emphasise spatial transformations from a skin-based reference frame into body-centred and external egocentric coordinates. We investigated another possible method of tactile localisation based on an intrinsic perception of ‘skin space’. The arrangement of cutaneous receptive fields (RFs) could allow one to track a stimulus as it moves across the skin, similarly to the way animals navigate using path integration. We applied curved tactile motions to the hands of human volunteers. Participants identified the location midway between the start and end points of each motion path. Their bisection judgements were systematically biased towards the integrated motion path, consistent with the characteristic inward error that occurs in navigation by path integration. We thus showed that integration of continuous sensory inputs across several tactile RFs provides an intrinsic mechanism for spatial perception.

      PubDate: 2018-06-09T07:47:52Z
       
  • Is infant-directed speech interesting because it is surprising' –
           Linking properties of IDS to statistical learning and attention at the
           prosodic level
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Okko Räsänen, Sofoklis Kakouros, Melanie Soderstrom
      The exaggerated intonation and special rhythmic properties of infant-directed speech (IDS) have been hypothesized to attract infants’ attention to the speech stream. However, there has been little work actually connecting the properties of IDS to models of attentional processing or perceptual learning. A number of such attention models suggest that surprising or novel perceptual inputs attract attention, where novelty can be operationalized as the statistical (un)predictability of the stimulus in the given context. Since prosodic patterns such as F0 contours are accessible to young infants who are also known to be adept statistical learners, the present paper investigates a hypothesis that F0 contours in IDS are less predictable than those in adult-directed speech (ADS), given previous exposure to both speaking styles, thereby potentially tapping into basic attentional mechanisms of the listeners in a similar manner that relative probabilities of other linguistic patterns are known to modulate attentional processing in infants and adults. Computational modeling analyses with naturalistic IDS and ADS speech from matched speakers and contexts show that IDS intonation has lower overall temporal predictability even when the F0 contours of both speaking styles are normalized to have equal means and variances. A closer analysis reveals that there is a tendency of IDS intonation to be less predictable at the end of short utterances, whereas ADS exhibits more stable average predictability patterns across the full extent of the utterances. The difference between IDS and ADS persists even when the proportion of IDS and ADS exposure is varied substantially, simulating different relative amounts of IDS heard in different family and cultural environments. Exposure to IDS is also found to be more efficient for predicting ADS intonation contours in new utterances than exposure to the equal amount of ADS speech. This indicates that the more variable prosodic contours of IDS also generalize to ADS, and may therefore enhance prosodic learning in infancy. Overall, the study suggests that one reason behind infant preference for IDS could be its higher information value at the prosodic level, as measured by the amount of surprisal in the F0 contours. This provides the first formal link between the properties of IDS and the models of attentional processing and statistical learning in the brain. However, this finding does not rule out the possibility that other differences between the IDS and ADS also play a role.

      PubDate: 2018-06-07T02:19:39Z
       
  • Extremely costly intensifiers are stronger than quite costly ones
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Erin D. Bennett, Noah D. Goodman
      We show that the wide range in strengths of intensifying degree adverbs (e.g. very and extremely) can be partly explained by pragmatic inference based on differing cost, rather than differing semantics. The pragmatic theory predicts a linear relationship between the meaning of intensifiers and their length and log-frequency. We first test this prediction in three studies, using two different dependent measures, finding that higher utterance cost (i.e. higher word length or surprisal) does predict stronger meanings. In two additional studies we confirm that the relationship between length and meaning is present even for novel words. We discuss the implications for adverbial meaning and the more general question of how extensive non-arbitrary form-meaning association may be in language.

      PubDate: 2018-06-01T02:07:28Z
       
  • Who did what' A causal role for cognitive control in thematic role
           assignment during sentence comprehension
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Malathi Thothathiri, Christine T. Asaro, Nina S. Hsu, Jared M. Novick
      Thematic role assignment – generally, figuring out who did what to whom – is a critical component of sentence comprehension, which is influenced by both syntactic and semantic cues. Conflict between these cues can result in temporary consideration of multiple incompatible interpretations during real-time sentence processing. We tested whether the resolution of syntax-semantics conflict can be expedited by the online engagement of cognitive control processes that are routinely used to regulate behavior across domains. In this study, cognitive control deployment from a previous Stroop trial influenced eye movements during subsequent sentence comprehension. Specifically, when syntactic and semantic cues competed for influence on interpretation, dynamic cognitive control engagement led to (a) fewer overall looks to a picture illustrating the competing but incorrect interpretation (Experiment 1), or (b) steeper growth in looks to a picture illustrating the correct interpretation (Experiment 2). Thus, prior cognitive control engagement facilitated the resolution of syntax-semantics conflict by biasing processing towards the intended analysis. This conflict adaptation effect demonstrates a causal connection between cognitive control and real-time thematic role assignment. Broader patterns demonstrated that prior cognitive control engagement also modulated sentence processing irrespective of the presence of conflict, reflecting increased integration of newly arriving cues with prior sentential content. Together, the results suggest that cognitive control helps listeners determine correct event roles during real-time comprehension.

      PubDate: 2018-06-01T02:07:28Z
       
  • Visual short-term memory guides infants’ visual attention
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Samantha G. Mitsven, Lisa M. Cantrell, Steven J. Luck, Lisa M. Oakes
      Adults’ visual attention is guided by the contents of visual short-term memory (VSTM). Here we asked whether 10-month-old infants’ (N = 41) visual attention is also guided by the information stored in VSTM. In two experiments, we modified the one-shot change detection task (Oakes, Baumgartner, Barrett, Messenger, & Luck, 2013) to create a simplified cued visual search task to ask how information stored in VSTM influences where infants look. A single sample item (e.g., a colored circle) was presented at fixation for 500 ms, followed by a brief (300 ms) retention interval and then a test array consisting of two items, one on each side of fixation. One item in the test array matched the sample stimulus and the other did not. Infants were more likely to look at the non-matching item than at the matching item, demonstrating that the information stored rapidly in VSTM guided subsequent looking behavior.

      PubDate: 2018-06-01T02:07:28Z
       
  • Young infants’ discrimination of subtle phonetic contrasts
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Megha Sundara, Céline Ngon, Katrin Skoruppa, Naomi H. Feldman, Glenda Molina Onario, James L. Morgan, Sharon Peperkamp
      It is generally accepted that infants initially discriminate native and non-native contrasts and that perceptual reorganization within the first year of life results in decreased discrimination of non-native contrasts, and improved discrimination of native contrasts. However, recent findings from Narayan, Werker, and Beddor (2010) surprisingly suggested that some acoustically subtle native-language contrasts might not be discriminated until the end of the first year of life. We first provide countervailing evidence that young English-learning infants can discriminate the Filipino contrast tested by Narayan et al. when tested in a more sensitive paradigm. Next, we show that young infants learning either English or French can also discriminate comparably subtle non-native contrasts from Tamil. These findings show that Narayan et al.’s null findings were due to methodological choices and indicate that young infants are sensitive to even subtle acoustic contrasts that cue phonetic distinctions cross-linguistically. Based on experimental results and acoustic analyses, we argue that instead of specific acoustic metrics, infant discrimination results themselves are the most informative about the salience of phonetic distinctions.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
  • Remembrance of inferences past: Amortization in human hypothesis
           generation
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Ishita Dasgupta, Eric Schulz, Noah D. Goodman, Samuel J. Gershman
      Bayesian models of cognition assume that people compute probability distributions over hypotheses. However, the required computations are frequently intractable or prohibitively expensive. Since people often encounter many closely related distributions, selective reuse of computations (amortized inference) is a computationally efficient use of the brain’s limited resources. We present three experiments that provide evidence for amortization in human probabilistic reasoning. When sequentially answering two related queries about natural scenes, participants’ responses to the second query systematically depend on the structure of the first query. This influence is sensitive to the content of the queries, only appearing when the queries are related. Using a cognitive load manipulation, we find evidence that people amortize summary statistics of previous inferences, rather than storing the entire distribution. These findings support the view that the brain trades off accuracy and computational cost, to make efficient use of its limited cognitive resources to approximate probabilistic inference.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
  • When learning goes beyond statistics: Infants represent visual sequences
           in terms of chunks
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Lauren K. Slone, Scott P. Johnson
      Much research has documented infants’ sensitivity to statistical regularities in auditory and visual inputs, however the manner in which infants process and represent statistically defined information remains unclear. Two types of models have been proposed to account for this sensitivity: statistical models, which posit that learners represent statistical relations between elements in the input; and chunking models, which posit that learners represent statistically-coherent units of information from the input. Here, we evaluated the fit of these two types of models to behavioral data that we obtained from 8-month-old infants across four visual sequence-learning experiments. Experiments examined infants’ representations of two types of structures about which statistical and chunking models make contrasting predictions: illusory sequences (Experiment 1) and embedded sequences (Experiments 2–4). In all four experiments, infants discriminated between high probability sequences and low probability part-sequences, providing strong evidence of learning. Critically, infants also discriminated between high probability sequences and statistically-matched sequences (illusory sequences in Experiment 1, embedded sequences in Experiments 2–3), suggesting that infants learned coherent chunks of elements. Experiment 4 examined the temporal nature of chunking, and demonstrated that the fate of embedded chunks depends on amount of exposure. These studies contribute important new data on infants’ visual statistical learning ability, and suggest that the representations that result from infants’ visual statistical learning are best captured by chunking models.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
  • When is the right hemisphere holistic and when is it not' The case of
           Chinese character recognition
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Harry K.S. Chung, Jacklyn C.Y. Leung, Vienne M.Y. Wong, Janet H. Hsiao
      Holistic processing (HP) has long been considered a characteristic of right hemisphere (RH) processing. Indeed, holistic face processing is typically associated with left visual field (LVF)/RH processing advantages. Nevertheless, expert Chinese character recognition involves reduced HP and increased RH lateralization, presenting a counterexample. Recent modeling research suggests that RH processing may be associated with an increase or decrease in HP, depending on whether spacing or component information was used respectively. Since expert Chinese character recognition involves increasing sensitivity to components while deemphasizing spacing information, RH processing in experts may be associated with weaker HP than novices. Consistent with this hypothesis, in a divided visual field paradigm, novices exhibited HP only in the LVF/RH, whereas experts showed no HP in either visual field. This result suggests that the RH may flexibly switch between part-based and holistic representations, consistent with recent fMRI findings. The RH’s advantage in global/low spatial frequency processing is suggested to be relative to the task relevant frequency range. Thus, its use of holistic and part-based representations may depend on how attention is allocated for task relevant information. This study provides the first behavioral evidence showing how type of information used for processing modulates perceptual representations in the RH.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
  • Moral hindsight for good actions and the effects of imagined alternatives
           to reality
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Ruth M.J. Byrne, Shane Timmons
      Five experiments identify an asymmetric moral hindsight effect for judgments about whether a morally good action should have been taken, e.g., Ann should run into traffic to save Jill who fell before an oncoming truck. Judgments are increased when the outcome is good (Jill sustained minor bruises), as Experiment 1 shows; but they are not decreased when the outcome is bad (Jill sustained life-threatening injuries), as Experiment 2 shows. The hindsight effect is modified by imagined alternatives to the outcome: judgments are amplified by a counterfactual that if the good action had not been taken, the outcome would have been worse, and diminished by a semi-factual that if the good action had not been taken, the outcome would have been the same. Hindsight modification occurs when the alternative is presented with the outcome, and also when participants have already committed to a judgment based on the outcome, as Experiments 3A and 3B show. The hindsight effect occurs not only for judgments in life-and-death situations but also in other domains such as sports, as Experiment 4 shows. The results are consistent with a causal-inference explanation of moral judgment and go against an aversive-emotion one.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
  • (Ir)rational choices of humans, rhesus macaques, and capuchin monkeys in
           dynamic stochastic environments
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Julia Watzek, Sarah F. Brosnan
      Human and animal decision-making is known to violate rational expectations in a variety of contexts. Previous models suggest that statistical structures of real-world environments can favor such seemingly irrational behavior, but this has not been tested empirically. We tested 16 capuchin monkeys, seven rhesus monkeys, and 30 humans in a computerized experiment that implemented such stochastic environments. Subjects chose from among up to three options of different value that disappeared and became available again with different probabilities. All species overwhelmingly chose transitively (A > B > C) in the control condition, where doing so maximized overall gain. Most subjects also adhered to transitivity in the test condition, where it was suboptimal, but ultimately led to negligible losses compared to the optimal, non-transitive strategy. We used a modelling approach to show that differences in temporal discounting may account for this pattern of choices on a proximate level. Specifically, when short- and long-term goals are valued similarly, near-optimal decision rules can map onto rational choice principles. Such cognitive shortcuts have been argued to have evolved to preserve mental resources without sacrificing good decision-making, and here we provide evidence that these heuristics can provide almost identical outcomes even in situations in which they lead to suboptimal choices.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
  • Joint action coordination in expert-novice pairs: Can experts predict
           novices’ suboptimal timing'
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Thomas Wolf, Natalie Sebanz, Günther Knoblich
      Previous research has established that skilled joint action partners use predictive models to achieve temporal coordination, for instance, when playing a music duet. But how do joint action partners with different skill levels achieve coordination' Can experts predict the suboptimal timing of novices' What kind of information allows them to predict novices’ timing' To address these questions, we asked skilled pianists to perform duets with piano novices. We varied whether, prior to performing duets, experts were familiar with novices’ performances of their individual parts of the duets and whether experts had access to the musical scores including the novices’ part of the duet. Familiarity with the score led to better coordination when the score implied a difficult passage. Familiarity with novices’ performances led to better joint action coordination for the remaining parts of the duet. Together, the results indicate that experts are surprisingly flexible in predicting novices’ suboptimal timing.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
  • Mistakes weren’t made: Three-year-olds’ comprehension of novel-verb
           passives provides evidence for early abstract syntax
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Katherine Messenger, Cynthia Fisher
      By about age three, English-learning children begin to understand passive sentences with familiar verbs. We probed the nature of children’s linguistic representations by asking whether 3-year-olds promptly extend their emerging knowledge of the passive structure to novel verbs. In three preferential-looking experiments, 3-year-olds (N = 124) interpreted novel verbs presented in short passives (Experiment 1, “She’s getting snedded!”) as transitive verbs, referring to causal-action rather than solo-action events, and used word-order in full passives, (Experiments 2 and 3, e.g., “She’s getting snedded by the boy!”), to select a target event in which the subject was the patient, not the agent of action. Comprehension accuracy in Experiments 1 and 2 varied with vocabulary, but this vocabulary effect disappeared when children were given more time and more repetitions of the test sentences (Experiment 3). These findings support early-abstraction accounts of acquisition: 3-year-olds represent passive syntax in abstract terms, permitting extension to novel verbs. This, in turn, allows them to use passive sentences to identify the grammatical subcategory and meaning of an unknown verb.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
  • Your visual system provides all the information you need to make moral
           judgments about generic visual events
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 178
      Author(s): Julian De Freitas, George A. Alvarez
      To what extent are people's moral judgments susceptible to subtle factors of which they are unaware' Here we show that we can change people’s moral judgments outside of their awareness by subtly biasing perceived causality. Specifically, we used subtle visual manipulations to create visual illusions of causality in morally relevant scenarios, and this systematically changed people’s moral judgments. After demonstrating the basic effect using simple displays involving an ambiguous car collision that ends up injuring a person (E1), we show that the effect is sensitive on the millisecond timescale to manipulations of task-irrelevant factors that are known to affect perceived causality, including the duration (E2a) and asynchrony (E2b) of specific task-irrelevant contextual factors in the display. We then conceptually replicate the effect using a different paradigm (E3a), and also show that we can eliminate the effect by interfering with motion processing (E3b). Finally, we show that the effect generalizes across different kinds of moral judgments (E3c). Combined, these studies show that obligatory, abstract inferences made by the visual system influence moral judgments.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
  • A critical period for second language acquisition: Evidence from 2/3
           million English speakers
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018
      Source:Cognition, Volume 177
      Author(s): Joshua K. Hartshorne, Joshua B. Tenenbaum, Steven Pinker
      Children learn language more easily than adults, though when and why this ability declines have been obscure for both empirical reasons (underpowered studies) and conceptual reasons (measuring the ultimate attainment of learners who started at different ages cannot by itself reveal changes in underlying learning ability). We address both limitations with a dataset of unprecedented size (669,498 native and non-native English speakers) and a computational model that estimates the trajectory of underlying learning ability by disentangling current age, age at first exposure, and years of experience. This allows us to provide the first direct estimate of how grammar-learning ability changes with age, finding that it is preserved almost to the crux of adulthood (17.4 years old) and then declines steadily. This finding held not only for “difficult” syntactic phenomena but also for “easy” syntactic phenomena that are normally mastered early in acquisition. The results support the existence of a sharply-defined critical period for language acquisition, but the age of offset is much later than previously speculated. The size of the dataset also provides novel insight into several other outstanding questions in language acquisition.

      PubDate: 2018-05-29T02:02:08Z
       
 
 
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